Sunday, February 27, 2011

Welcome Ursula Grey


Please help me welcome Ursula Grey as this week's guest and part of the All Romantic Suspense Authors Blog Tour.



Let's started, Ursula. Tell us about yourself. How about something that hasn’t been previously stated? Maybe a phobia or pet peeve. I'm so nosy.

Let's start with a phobia…As much as I've tried, I can't rid myself of the fear of insects and/or arachnids. If they didn't scurry out of nowhere and startle me, it might be a different story. I know…spiders eat other insects and they're useful to have around, but I don't think I'll ever be able to cohabitate with a spider! If they stay outside, that's fine with me. I'd rather not cross paths with any of our multi-legged "friends". What bothers me most is that I know they are also aware of our presence, i.e., when you see them trying to hide from your large and frightened eyes when you're in squoosh mode. They possess a certain level of consciousness that makes it difficult to squash them. Then it's time to bring the hubby onboard ~ to hopefully relocate them…

What genre do you write and what genre would you love to try?

I currently tend to write historical erotic romance. I love history and gravitate toward reading historical fiction. Some of my favorite time periods are medieval France and England, the ancient civilizations of Greece and Rome, and the Victorian period of the U.S. and Europe. In the future, I hope to try my hand at more mainstream works, and those of a literary nature. Mystery and science fiction are other genres I'd like to explore writing. I admire the versatility of writers who can easily cross genres.

Tell us about what you've had published.

Well, so far, I have four published works, included a short story included in an anthology. They are:

Second Chances – a mainstream romance with elements of romantic suspense. Second Chances is published by Siren-Bookstrand. Here's the blurb:

"Chance encounters bring together three women from very different walks of life and with little in common except for the desire to obtain a second chance at life and perhaps even love.

A mysterious birthday gift, a husband's devastating deception, and a secret past during World War II send the women on an unforgettable journey to France that will change their lives forever. Will Delia, the young runaway, find the father she never knew, a father who knows nothing of her existence? Will one impulsive night change Gwen, a soon-to-be-divorcee's, life forever? Can Jeanne, a French war bride, face her past and rekindle a romance with a lost love? When Delia disappears, the answers to these questions must wait."

I'd like to think it's a light, entertaining read that will appeal to women of all ages.

http://www.amazon.com/Chances-BookStrand-Publishing-Romance-ebook/dp/B0035YDM30

A Day in April 1944 – is a work of historical erotic romance, published by eXcessica. It takes place in France during WWII. Hard to believe that a romance could take place during this period? After visiting a small village destroyed by the Nazis during the French Occupation, I set to work trying to imagine a glimmer of hope for a woman who lived during this dark period. A Day in April 1944 garnered recommended read status at the Literary Nymphs, Dark Diva Reviews, and Fallen Angel Reviews websites.

Here's the blurb:

"Numbed emotionally by the war, Lisette, a French woman working for the Resistance, shelters an American pilot during the Occupation of France. The visitor she harbors awakens her dormant sexuality and touches her in ways she couldn’t possibly have imagined…"

http://www.amazon.com/Day-April-1944-ebook/dp/B003GIRFJC/

Adelaide's Adventure – is another work of historical erotic romance and takes place in Victorian America somewhere out West…It was just released this past Monday and is available at Noble Romance Publishing. Here's a brief blurb:

"Adelaide anticipates an uneventful journey—however, the man sharing her stagecoach has other ideas. Will Adelaide acquiesce to the unusual demands placed upon her by the mysterious stranger?"

https://www.nobleromance.com/ItemDisplay.aspx?i=245

Heph's Revenge (in the Divine Matches anthology published by eXcessica) – is a short erotic story starring Hephaestus and Aphrodite. It was fun to write…I forgot to mention that I also love mythology and folklore and will probably write more stories that include some gods and goddesses. They are amusing characters, to say the least!

http://www.amazon.com/Divine-Matches-Mythological-Anthology-ebook/dp/B004IE9ZG4/

Any works in progress?

I have a couple things I'm working on! They range from contemporary romantic suspense, an erotic romance featuring your favorite Greek mythological figures, to a stab at a work of sci-fi/fantasy. Of course, there are also a few other works in progress in the historical erotic romance category. That's the problem ~ they're all works in progress. All I've got to do now is to get back to work and finish them;-)!

What's your inspiration?

The need to create coupled with my personal interests. Often I'll find inspiration in the nonfiction I read, which leads to research, and eventually to a story idea.

What drives you as a writer?

The sense of personal fulfillment I feel when I complete a story. I'm always amazed how quickly time passes when I'm immersed in writing. It is a creative outlet for me that brings much personal satisfaction. It has always been a lifelong dream to become a published author. I also love hearing from readers. When a reader enjoys what I have written it gives me the greatest pleasure!

How long have you been writing?

Ever since I was a little girl! I received encouragement from a few of my teachers in grade school. It meant the world to me. What a great impact teachers and librarians can have on a young person's life. I believe it's critical that we support education and libraries, especially today, given the current economic climate. Individuals in the above professions can truly touch lives and positively change the course of a life.

Please tell us what you are most passionate about outside of writing.

Reading and travel. I love books, always have. Travel broadens the mind and opens the heart. I love exploring new places. Wanderlust should be my middle nameJ. The travel bug is the only bug I'm not afraid of;-).

What makes you laugh? Cry?

I've been told that I have a crazy off-beat sense of humor. Silly jokes crack me up. Cry? Definitely the loss of someone I love.

What do you do to amuse yourself when not working?

I've either got my nose stuck in a book, am looking for a good book, or planning my next vacation!

Sinful indulgence?

I love coffee, red wine, ice cream, and chocolate…not necessarily in that order, or all at once, but I don't consider them sinful!

Can you describe the time you realized you were indeed a "real" writer?

I think it really hit when I received my first review. That was a great moment. It served to validate my efforts as a writer. Fortunately, it was a great reviewJ.

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer these questions. The floor is yours. Please tell us where to find your work, your website, your blog, book trailer, and anything else you care to share.

Thanks for having me, Cassie! It was a pleasure to visit with you. I'd love if readers stopped by my website to visit or followed me on Twitter. My books are available on Amazon, B&N, Mobipocket, All Romance ebooks, Omnilit, etc. As we speak, Adelaide's Adventure is available only at Noble Romance. I expect that it will be available at the above sites ~ and in the not too distant future!

Website: http://ursulagrey.wordpress.com/

Twitter handle: @ursulagrey

Monday, February 21, 2011

Welcome Mindy MacKay


Please put your hands together and let's do a dance to welcome my next guest on the All Romantic Suspense Authors Blog Tour -- Mindy MacKay Author of high-octane fiction and romantic suspense

Don't know about you, but she's got my interest.


With the countless number of interview questions out there, let’s try something different. Tell us about yourself. How about something that hasn’t been previously stated? Maybe a phobia or pet peeve.

Howdy y'all! I'm Mindy, and I'm a fan of pop-punk, fast-paced novels, action movies, zombie survival, and coffee. I don't know about phobias--I'm pretty fearless, if I do say so myself--but it irks me to no end when people say the word "whenever" when they really mean "when". Other little solecisms get me too, but not nearly as much as the when/whenever one.

What genre do you write and what genre would you love to try?

I've written in the science fiction, horror, romantic suspense, tragedy, and YA dystopian genres. I'd really love to try a vampire or captive scenario, if only to see what kind of spin I can put on a frequently done idea.

Tell us about what you've had published.

Currently, I've got half a series out--the Puppetmasters series, available through Rogue Phoenix Press. It's a scifi-realism/dystopian take on mutants and revolution and Canada. I guess the best descriptor is "Canadapunk" because it's speculative fiction with a backdrop of the Canadian landscape, as opposed to, say, the industrial revolution or the advent of diesel technology. I've also got a single-title romantic mystery out called Fallen from Disgrace, available through Noble Romance. Think Cain and Abel meets Crime and Punishment meets the 120 Days of Sodom and that's basically what this book is about.

Any works in progress?

Right now I'm just finishing up a novella, tentatively titled Godspeed, that chronicles the love-affair of a mentally disturbed Communist dictator and a one-legged runaway former figure skater from another country. It sounds a lot less ridiculous in the outline and draft.

What's your inspiration?

Inspiration comes from many forms. Right now, I'm working with inspiration from a few conversations I had with friends over lunch, the Spanish poetry of Vanguardism poet Frederico Garcia Lorca, a mix tape one of my good friends made me, my childhood, and my Macroeconomics textbook.

How long have you been writing?

I've been writing poetry since the second grade because elementary schools have this way of sweetly coercing students to write poetry in order to gain school boasting rights in statewide contests, but I've only been seriously writing novels for about four or five years, and I've been pubbed since the summer of 2010.

Do you have a dream man/cop/detective? Does he appear in your writing and if so, what does he look like?

Oddly enough, I don't have a specific fantasy male that I recurrently use in different incarnations, but I do have a "dream girl" of sorts. Not as a romantic interest; just a literary manifestation of my ideology and metaphorical "muse". Her hair and eye color vary with each retelling, but she's always lithe and wide-eyed, enigmatic, tough-as-nails but deceptively cute, and harbors a lot of contra-societal fire. If she's the detective, she's not afraid to break protocol to achieve her ends. If she's the criminal, she's elusive, schismatic, and half-justified in her motives.

Please tell us what you are most passionate about outside of writing.

The human condition. I find questions about humanity, psychology, and society just fascinating.

What makes you laugh? Cry?

Laugh: Dane Cook, Weird Al, peopleatwalmart.com, most things that pander to the base human sensibility of humor, some of the more intelligent satires like Boyle's Carnal Knowledge or Swift's A Modest Proposal, people who understand my references to high-brow required reading from 10th grade, people who don't understand my references to high-brow required reading from 10th grade.

Cry: Gee, that's a toughie. I don't think I've actually full-out cried since I reread the ending of Elie Wiesel's Night.

What do you do to amuse yourself when not working?

Aside from throwing wild parties with my friends and/or watching Venture Bros with them, I entertain myself playing the piano, usually just playing by ear and arranging piano covers of Green Day songs or the theme songs from video games.

Sinful indulgence?

Shark Week, Dane Cook, and guro art.

Can you describe the time you realized you were indeed a "real" writer?

Funny thing about that, actually. I'm a little reluctant to call myself a "real" writer. It's my favorite hobby by far and a great way to stay entertained, but in all reality, my heart beats for biology. I'm going into biology with the end goal of becoming a surgeon. Yes, I write and I love it, but I've always pictured my career being a little more…hands-on. And inside. And all around. I like to think of the human body as my lawfully wedded spouse and the imagination as my after-hours, closed-door lover.

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer these questions. The floor is yours. Please tell us where to find your work, your website, your blog, book trailer, and anything else you care to share.

Thanks so much for having me, Cassie! My body of work can be found at www.mindy mackay.com and my Amazon storefront, http://www.amazon.com/Mindy-MacKay/e/B003OTMIKE/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1; my blog is located at theylikemehere.blogspot.com. If anyone's interested, here's a book trailer for my November release, Fallen from Disgrace. Also, feel free to add me on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4117450.Mindy_MacKay

Monday, February 14, 2011

Please welcome Dawn Brown


Please help me welcome my next guest, Dawn Brown, also part of the All Romantic Suspense Authors Blog Tour. Doesn't her cover look great? Wait until you read the excerpt and check out her answers from the intense Interview I subjected her to.


After a devastating personal tragedy, history professor Hillary Bennett seeks refuge in the quaint Scottish village of Culcraig, hoping to research a legend and salvage her career. Instead, she finds her hostess dead, and her hopes for the future pinned to the woman’s black sheep [M1] heir.

The last thing Caid Douglas needs is a decrepit manor house to remind him of his estranged family, but he does need the money selling the house would bring to pay off his debts. In desperation he offers to honor his great aunt’s arrangement with Hillary—if she pays him to stay at Glendon House and view his ancestor’s journals, he’ll have the money to fix up the family mausoleum and sell it.

But an ancient curse hovers over the village, and the secret to lifting it lies in the journals. Will Caid and Hillary realize what they have and uncover the truth before a twisted killer silences them forever?

     

Someone was in the house with them…

“You know,” Hillary said, keeping her voice low. “This house is huge. We could check each room individually, but who’s to say that whoever’s here won’t just keep moving around as we search, eventually working their way into a room we’ve already checked? We’ll never be one hundred per cent sure we’re alone.”

“Are you suggesting we separate?”

Her grip on his hand tightened. Did she even realize she’d done that?

“It would probably make more sense to split up. If we worked from opposite ends and met in the middle, it would reduce the chance of an intruder slipping away. But as I said, this place is huge and we’re only two people, the odds of our mystery person eluding us are still pretty good. Not to mention the confusion.”

“Confusion?” Caid tried to suppress his grin.

“Yes. If we separated, we could easily wind up tracking each other. At least together, if we hear or see anything out of the ordinary, we know that it has to be someone else.”

“What an astounding rationalization.”

She frowned at him in obvious consternation. “I think I made some very good points.”

He smiled. “Aye, you did. I’m sure you’ve convinced yerself quite nicely. Did you bring the subject up simply because you were concerned that I might think you liked holding my hand?”

He couldn’t stop his smile from widening, especially when she struggled to untangle her fingers from his, but as they entered the kitchen, he tightened his grip.

"Dinnae be like that. I’m just having a wee bit of fun with you."

She ceased struggling as her delicately shaped brows drew together in disbelief. "That wasn't here earlier."

"What?" He turned to the direction she pointed.

A brass fireplace poker lay dead center on the battered harvest table. On the floor, a series of watery footprints stretched between the back door to the table.

Christ’s sakes. Hillary hadn't just been frightened alone in an old house, there had been someone else here.

But who? And why?

*************

Dawn, come here dear. I'm getting the thumb screws and the whip, oops, that was for later. On with the Interview:

With the countless number of interview questions out there, let’s try something different. Tell us about yourself. How about something that hasn’t been previously stated? Maybe a phobia or pet peeve.

Let’s see, when it comes to phobias, I don’t like heights. And pet peeves, people who do not say please and thank you. Absolutely grates on my nerves.

What genre do you write and what genre would you love to try?

I write romantic suspense, sometimes with a paranormal twist. I love to read paranormals, and I’ve tried writing a couple, but I’m not very good at it. I think I’ll stick with romantic suspense, at least for now.

Tell us about what you've had published.

I have two romantic suspense novels published. The first, Living Lies, is available from Samhain Publishing. The second, The Curse of Culcraig, is available from The Wild Rose Press.

Any works in progress?

I’m working on a book called The Devil’s Eye that I’m hoping to wrap up soon, and then begin the sequel.

What's your inspiration?

I think it’s the idea of ‘what if’. I like to take average people, put them in an extraordinary situation then watch how they react.

What drives you as a writer?

It depends. Some days it’s writing about characters that I love, other days I don’t feel particularly driven and it’s a matter of forcing myself to sit in that chair and meet my word count goals.

How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing since I was about eleven, but started to write with the idea of publication about seven years ago.

Please tell us what you are most passionate about outside of writing.

Probably my family. To be honest, outside of writing and spending time with family, there isn’t time for much else.

What makes you laugh? Cry?

Silliness makes me laugh. I love movies like Airplane, Top Secret and anything Mel Brooks. Cruelty makes me cry.

What do you do to amuse yourself when not working?

I read mostly. Sometimes I draw or paint. Get together with friends and family.

Sinful indulgence?

Anything chocolate.

Can you describe the time you realized you were indeed a "real" writer?

I think the first time I held a completed manuscript in my hand. I had finally seen a story through from the initial idea to a complete book. And when I received my first contract, it solidified that feeling.

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer these questions. The floor is yours. Please tell us where to find your work, your website, your blog, book trailer, and anything else you care to share.

Thanks for having me.

You can find The Curse of Culcraig at Amazon or The Wild Rose Press. Living Lies is also available at Amazon and Samhain Publishing.

To learn more about my books, you can visit my website or blog.



Sunday, February 6, 2011

Welcome Marie-Nicole Ryan


Please welcome my next guest, Marie-Nicole Ryan, as part of the All Romantic Suspense Authors Blog Tour. Read about her phobia, pet peeve, all the books she's written, and find out the absolutely beautiful name of her dog.



With the countless number of interview questions out there, let’s try something different, Megan-Nicole. Tell us about yourself. How about something that hasn’t been previously stated? Maybe a phobia or pet peeve.

Okay, here goes. I used to write La Femme Nikita fan fiction, based on the USA cable network series, not the current one. Phobia: flying—never have, never will. Pet Peeve—soap opera actors dialogue, especially something like, “Susan gave the book to Bob and I.” I cringe every time I hear it, and since I watch three soaps a day, I hear it a lot.

What genre do you write and what genre would you love to try?

Mostly I write contemporary romantic suspense, but I have one erotic western historical, the first of a series of three…or four. I would love to write a pure mystery/suspense series.

Tell us about what you've had published

Seven romantic suspense novels and one erotic historical western. No, that’s not right six RSs and one mystery/suspense, plus the western.

Any works in progress?

Would you believe three? Actually one is stalled because it’s a sequel, and for certain reasons, there’s no point in completing it at this time. The one I’m actively working on is a contemporary romantic suspense set in the Finger Lakes regions of Upstate NY. I’ve visited the Finger Lakes several times, and I love the area. The third is the opening of the second erotic historical western, but I won’t really work on it until I finish the RS and have it in the submission pipeline.

What's your inspiration?

Damned if I know. Usually either a situation or a character pops into my head and it makes me think, “What if…?” Chance remarks a person might make will give me an idea as well as news items.

What drives you as a writer?

Nothing much right now. Sad but true. Originally it was the characters who wouldn’t leave me alone. I dreamt about them. I heard their voices.

How long have you been writing?

My first attempt at writing a novel was back in the early eighties when I wrote about a hundred pages of a historical romance. Typing was difficult, but when PCs came around and I purchased my first one in 1996, I started writing fan fiction soon after. I started my first completed novel in 1997. It took me at least eighteen months to complete the 142K word behemoth, but finish it I did. After cutting 14k words from it and cleaning it up, I started shopping it around. It was my second book to sell in 2003.

Do you have a dream man/cop/detective? Does he appear in your writing and if so, what does he look like?

I certainly do. Ninety-five percent of the time, he’s tall, dark and handsome. He usually has a lot of baggage and grew up rough.

Please tell us what you are most passionate about outside of writing.

Currently that would be Cassie, my Shetland Sheepdog. I love antiquing and interior design.

What makes you laugh? Cry?

My Sheltie makes me laugh several times a day, especially when she’s trying to talk to me. Cry? I seldom cry, but if I do it’s usually if I’m watching a sad movie or TV show.

What do you do to amuse yourself when not working?

That would be watching one of the many TV shows I love or going out with any of my gal pals.

Sinful indulgence?

Having two DVRs.

Can you describe the time you realized you were indeed a "real" writer?

When I started writing fan fiction and received so many positive comments from readers. Bear in mind when you write fan fiction, you’re sort of preaching to the choir. However, I met a published author in the process, and she encouraged me to keep writing and to join RWA®.

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer these questions. The floor is yours. Please tell us where to find your work, your website, your blog, book trailer, and anything else you care to share.

Thank you so much for having me, Cassie, and I’m looking forward to your interview on my blog as well.

Web site: http://marienicoleryan.com

Facebook: http://facebook.com/marienicoleryan.author

Blog: http://marienicoleryan.blogspot.com

Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlyQ3U0yxGs



Blurb

Nashville sizzles in the summer. No wonder Tess and Scott combust.

Nashville Homicide Detective Tess O’Malley has a lot to prove. She comes from a long line of police officers, including her father and older brothers. First she and her partner are taken off a high profile case and sidelined with a cold case instead. After reviewing the files, she’s certain her cold case is connected to the current one, and she sets out to prove it. Too bad it means locking horns with a handsome PI who could win her heart and derail her career.

Scott Holt is all business when it comes to running his family’s PI firm. When the lovely Detective O’Malley comes to question him about his possible involvement in her cold case, he has everything but business on his mind. Like locking lips with the fiery redhead.

EXCERPT: ©2010, Marie-Nicole Ryan

All rights reserved, The Wild Rose Press

Thankful for the oven timer giving him a brief reprieve, Scott took a deep breath. Tess raced around the bar to the kitchen, then bent over and opened the oven. Her flirty, short summer dress hiked up and gave him a view of slender thighs and a little bit of lace that didn’t begin to cover the smooth, rounded cheeks of her ass.